The 3 Pillars of Health: Fitness, Food, Sleep

Deep Frying a Turkey


Deep frying a turkey is becoming more popular each year. In fact, it’s estimated that 2 million people will deep fry a turkey this year. And there are lots of good reasons for this popularity.

Benefits of Deep Frying

Frying your turkey will give you excellent results in a short time. How long does it take to fry a turkey? A turkey needs to be fried for 3-4 minutes per pound.

deep frying a turkey

A 15 pound turkey will need only 45 – 60 minutes. If you roasted that same bird it would need 3 – 3 1/2 hours!

When done right, your fried turkey will have crispy skin and tender, moist meat.

Preparing Your Turkey

Preparing Your Turkey

If you’re using a frozen turkey, thaw it completely. After thawing, check the cavity for any ice crystals.

Be sure to remove the neck and giblets. And cut off any excess fat.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry.

If the turkey has a pop up timer, remove it. If the legs or wings are tied with metal bands, then remove them.

Do not stuff the turkey.

The Best Oil for Frying

Best Oil for Frying

The best oils for frying a turkey are

  • Peanut oil
  • Corn oil
  • Canola oil

These oils are relatively inexpensive and they can tolerate the high temperatures used for frying.

It’s important to not use too much oil. Here’s how to measure the right oil level for your turkey.

Put the turkey into your pot and cover it with water. Remove the turkey and measure the water level from the top of the pot.

Pour out the water and dry the pot.

Now fill the pot with oil to that level.

Indoors or Outdoors?

top rated turkey fryers

It’s possible to fry your turkey indoors if you use an electric turkey fryer. You can use any electric deep fryer so long as it’s big enough.

For safety reasons it’s still probably best to fry a turkey outdoors.

You can use propane to heat your oil in any pot that is sturdy and large enough. You can find lots of suitable pots that are made for deep frying.

One topic people like to debate is whether stainless steel or aluminum is better. Both will work so long as they are large and sturdy.

Of course, if you’re using propane fuel, then you have to do it outdoors.

Find a level surface that is away from all buildings and other flammable items.

Don’t fry your turkey on a wooden deck. When available, your best choice is bare ground or grass (so long as it’s not too dry).

If you need to use an extension cord, place it so that no one will trip over it.

Deep Frying Safety

The video is a humorous look at some of the safety issues when you deep fry a turkey and how to keep yourself safe.

Think carefully about the safety of you and your family before you start frying your turkey.

Keep all children and pets away from the fryer.

Never leave the fryer unattended.

Keep an eye on the temperature of your oil. Don’t let it go above 375F.

Have a fire extinguisher rated for oil fires standing by.

Do not put too much oil into the pot. One of the biggest problems people experience is oil overflowing the pot and catching on fire.

Wear clothing that covers your arms, legs, and feet.

Wear gloves or long oven mitts.

Use a pole with a hook on it to lower the turkey into the oil.

See the article How NOT to Deep Fry a Turkey to see what some of your neighbors are doing wrong.

Fry the Turkey

deep fry a turkey

Now you’re ready to fry your turkey.

Bring your oil up to 375F.

If you’re using propane, turn off the flame before putting the turkey into the oil.

Slowly lower the turkey into the oil. Some oil may splatter as you lower the turkey. Watch carefully to make sure the oil does not overflow the pot.

Bring the oil back up to 350F, because this is the best temperature for frying your turkey.

When you think your turkey is done, turn off the flame and slowly lift the bird out of the oil. Let the excess oil drain back into the pot.

Use a meat thermometer to check that the turkey is done. The turkey breast temperature should be at 170F and the thigh at 180F.

Lay the turkey on a baking sheet or pan for 20 minutes before carving.

That’s it. Enjoy your turkey and be thankful it was so easy to prepare!

Look here to see some of the problems other people had when they tried to deep fry a turkey.

Picture credit: Deposit Photos, Pixabay, – hagleitn